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How can my improve my GMAT score?

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How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 02:23
Hello everyone

My name is Chaitanya Goenka. I took the GMAT on 13th August, 2018 and was a little disappointed with my score (650). I am aiming to score 700+ to get into the MiM programme of a top European b-school.

I took classroom classes for GMAT starting 1st week of January and began full-fledged preparation from the month of June. After beginning my preparation, I realised I made a mistake taking classroom classes as they were no good in comparison to the online class offered by prep companies like e-GMAT and Veritas Prep. I know this because I attended a couple of free webinars from these companies and the way they taught the concepts was so good and GMAT-specific that I immediately realised I made a mistake. Double the agony, the offline class costed double than what the best online classes would have cost me. Back to the topic, I am planning to give GMAT again on the last week of September.

The table below shows the scores of all the mock tests I took during my preparation followed by my actual GMAT score.

---Date------------Exam-----------Score-------Quant-------Verbal------IR-------AWA
08.07.18-----GmatOfficial Prep----660----------45-----------36
23.07.18------Manhattan Prep-----650----------46-----------33
30.07.18--------Economist---------630----------49-----------29
04.08.18--------Veritas Prep-------680----------46-----------37
07.08.18--------Kaplan Prep-------690----------47-----------38
13.08.18-----------GMAT-----------650----------48-----------32---------6--------5.5


Looking at the mock scores as well as my GMAT score, my weak point seems to be the Verbal section. I am seeking advice on how I can improve on my GMAT score. I have completed the OG as well as the Verbal Guide. Should I start solving those again? Also what guide should I refer to? (especially for the verbal section)

I would be very grateful if anyone from the GMAT community could guide me towards my goal.

Thank you for your time.
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 07:16
Top Contributor
Your quant is good but the verbal is really pulling you down. Between now and end of September, you need to have a clear plan on how to proceed -- with particular focus on SC and CR in the first two weeks.

During your SC studies, we encourage you to follow along expert video explanations to guide you in your thought process.

Here's a shared Google doc of video links you may find helpful:


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1f_ckd ... H1HmTgctJI

How you think through a question dictates how much time you will spend on different parts of a question stem and corresponding answer choices. This is the key for time management -- minimize the time you spend on parts of the question that don't matter!

http://www.gmatpill.com/criticalreasoni ... Estate.mp4

With CR, there's a lot of text to read. The key is to make sense of what's important and ignore the stuff that is less important.

That way you can go into the answer choices already with something in mind of what to expect.
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 08:11
chaitan1233 wrote:
Hello everyone

My name is Chaitanya Goenka. I took the GMAT on 13th August, 2018 and was a little disappointed with my score (650). I am aiming to score 700+ to get into the MiM programme of a top European b-school.

I took classroom classes for GMAT starting 1st week of January and began full-fledged preparation from the month of June. After beginning my preparation, I realised I made a mistake taking classroom classes as they were no good in comparison to the online class offered by prep companies like e-GMAT and Veritas Prep. I know this because I attended a couple of free webinars from these companies and the way they taught the concepts was so good and GMAT-specific that I immediately realised I made a mistake. Double the agony, the offline class costed double than what the best online classes would have cost me. Back to the topic, I am planning to give GMAT again on the last week of September.

The table below shows the scores of all the mock tests I took during my preparation followed by my actual GMAT score.

---Date------------Exam-----------Score-------Quant-------Verbal------IR-------AWA
08.07.18-----GmatOfficial Prep----660----------45-----------36
23.07.18------Manhattan Prep-----650----------46-----------33
30.07.18--------Economist---------630----------49-----------29
04.08.18--------Veritas Prep-------680----------46-----------37
07.08.18--------Kaplan Prep-------690----------47-----------38
13.08.18-----------GMAT-----------650----------48-----------32---------6--------5.5


Looking at the mock scores as well as my GMAT score, my weak point seems to be the Verbal section. I am seeking advice on how I can improve on my GMAT score. I have completed the OG as well as the Verbal Guide. Should I start solving those again? Also what guide should I refer to? (especially for the verbal section)

I would be very grateful if anyone from the GMAT community could guide me towards my goal.

Thank you for your time.


Hi Chaitanya,

Welcome to GMATCLUB! For verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 12:21
Hi chaitan1233,

With a 650/Q48, you're closer to a 700+ Score than you probably realize, but you're going to have to make some adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections to hit that Score Goal.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) What is your exact Test Date?
3) What application deadline(s) are you currently facing?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 00:51
Hi chaitan1233,

I am sorry to hear that your score was not in line with your expectation. Having said that 650 is a good score to build up on and with the right strategy and resources you can reach your target score.
Your current score of V32 corresponds to a 66 percentile. It indicates that you have specific conceptual gaps and process gaps as well. To improve upon these gaps, you would need a structured approach where you can address both conceptual and process gaps. Here are a few students who were in the same shoes as you and then improved to reach their score:
    1. Murali (740) started his GMAT journey only by practicing questions from OG. Soon realized that it requires a methodical approach to ace GMAT. Click here to read his amazing debrief.
    2. Rhea leveraged our Verbal Online course to improve from a V32 to V41 in 40 days. She leveraged the "advanced data analytics in Scholaranium" and focused on her mistakes. Click here to watch her inspiring video interview. Click here to read her de-brief.
    3. Martina improved from 620 to 730 in just 3 weeks. (V31 to V46 ). Click here to watch her interview.

Try the e-GMAT Free Trial to learn the approach used by Murali, Rhea, and Martina

I see that you have already attended our webinars and found them useful. We are glad to hear that. You can continue learning even during the week when there is no webinar scheduled by signing up for the Free Trial. I am sharing some course files here for you to evaluate if it suits your learning style. You can find over 25+ video lessons and 350+ practice questions in your Free Trial dashboard.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 03:59
hey there chaitan1233
good question. here are some thoughts, especially about the issue of verbal:
There can be many many reasons for a mid range Verbal, such as:
- inefficient methodologies (do you get confused by the different answer choices or take too much time?)
- lack of attention to detail (especially in SC but also in RC)
- having difficulty breaking down a CR question into its logical components
- and many more

Aside form this, there is the issue of strategy. When strategizing for the exam, more than basic skills are important for the Verbal section. It’s just as important to teach yourself the right way to approach each question. Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.


Before I offer you any more personal advice, I'd appreciate the answers to a few questions:
1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it here, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)



chaitan1233 wrote:
Hello everyone

My name is Chaitanya Goenka. I took the GMAT on 13th August, 2018 and was a little disappointed with my score (650). I am aiming to score 700+ to get into the MiM programme of a top European b-school.

I took classroom classes for GMAT starting 1st week of January and began full-fledged preparation from the month of June. After beginning my preparation, I realised I made a mistake taking classroom classes as they were no good in comparison to the online class offered by prep companies like e-GMAT and Veritas Prep. I know this because I attended a couple of free webinars from these companies and the way they taught the concepts was so good and GMAT-specific that I immediately realised I made a mistake. Double the agony, the offline class costed double than what the best online classes would have cost me. Back to the topic, I am planning to give GMAT again on the last week of September.

The table below shows the scores of all the mock tests I took during my preparation followed by my actual GMAT score.

---Date------------Exam-----------Score-------Quant-------Verbal------IR-------AWA
08.07.18-----GmatOfficial Prep----660----------45-----------36
23.07.18------Manhattan Prep-----650----------46-----------33
30.07.18--------Economist---------630----------49-----------29
04.08.18--------Veritas Prep-------680----------46-----------37
07.08.18--------Kaplan Prep-------690----------47-----------38
13.08.18-----------GMAT-----------650----------48-----------32---------6--------5.5


Looking at the mock scores as well as my GMAT score, my weak point seems to be the Verbal section. I am seeking advice on how I can improve on my GMAT score. I have completed the OG as well as the Verbal Guide. Should I start solving those again? Also what guide should I refer to? (especially for the verbal section)

I would be very grateful if anyone from the GMAT community could guide me towards my goal.

Thank you for your time.

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 05:51
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi chaitan1233,

With a 650/Q48, you're closer to a 700+ Score than you probably realize, but you're going to have to make some adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections to hit that Score Goal.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) What is your exact Test Date?
3) What application deadline(s) are you currently facing?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi Rich

Thank you for helping me out.

Here's the answer to your questions:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
I had taken classroom classes from an institution here in Mumbai. So for preparation, I had used the study materials provided by them and the Official Guide. I didn't use any other study material apart from these two. Also, I took a lot of help of Youtube videos and webinars which I think played a significant role in my score.
I have to admit I didnt't follow a systematic approach towards my preparation. I took bits and pieces from different sources and tried to put them together.

2) What is your exact Test Date?
I have not yet fixed a date but I plan to take it in the last week of September.

3) What application deadline(s) are you currently facing?
18th October

I have not yet started preparing for my 2nd attempt. I thought of getting the views of experts like you before I start so that I don't make the same mistakes again.

Thank you again for your time and patience for hearing me out. I am sure I'll reach my target score this time around with the right guidance and support...
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How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 06:39
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:
hey there good question. here are some thoughts, especially about the issue of verbal:
There can be many many reasons for a mid range Verbal, such as:
- inefficient methodologies (do you get confused by the different answer choices or take too much time?)
- lack of attention to detail (especially in SC but also in RC)
- having difficulty breaking down a CR question into its logical components
- and many more

Aside form this, there is the issue of strategy. When strategizing for the exam, more than basic skills are important for the Verbal section. It’s just as important to teach yourself the right way to approach each question. Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.


Before I offer you any more personal advice, I'd appreciate the answers to a few questions:
1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)



chaitan1233 wrote:
Hello everyone

My name is Chaitanya Goenka. I took the GMAT on 13th August, 2018 and was a little disappointed with my score (650). I am aiming to score 700+ to get into the MiM programme of a top European b-school.

I took classroom classes for GMAT starting 1st week of January and began full-fledged preparation from the month of June. After beginning my preparation, I realised I made a mistake taking classroom classes as they were no good in comparison to the online class offered by prep companies like e-GMAT and Veritas Prep. I know this because I attended a couple of free webinars from these companies and the way they taught the concepts was so good and GMAT-specific that I immediately realised I made a mistake. Double the agony, the offline class costed double than what the best online classes would have cost me. Back to the topic, I am planning to give GMAT again on the last week of September.

The table below shows the scores of all the mock tests I took during my preparation followed by my actual GMAT score.

---Date------------Exam-----------Score-------Quant-------Verbal------IR-------AWA
08.07.18-----GmatOfficial Prep----660----------45-----------36
23.07.18------Manhattan Prep-----650----------46-----------33
30.07.18--------Economist---------630----------49-----------29
04.08.18--------Veritas Prep-------680----------46-----------37
07.08.18--------Kaplan Prep-------690----------47-----------38
13.08.18-----------GMAT-----------650----------48-----------32---------6--------5.5


Looking at the mock scores as well as my GMAT score, my weak point seems to be the Verbal section. I am seeking advice on how I can improve on my GMAT score. I have completed the OG as well as the Verbal Guide. Should I start solving those again? Also what guide should I refer to? (especially for the verbal section)

I would be very grateful if anyone from the GMAT community could guide me towards my goal.

Thank you for your time.


Hi David

Thank you for your time.

Here's the answer to your following questions:

1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
I haven't used an error log. I don't even know what it is.

2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
No, I haven't. Should I order it? Does it add significant value to my preparation going forward?

3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)
Sadly, I didn't. I paused multiple times during my CATs. However, I didn't split them into parts. I gave them at once when I sat for a particular CAT. Also, I took only the Quant and Verbal section for most of the CATs. Only in some I took the IR and I didn't take the AWA even once in any of the CATs.

Thank you again for your time and patience for helping me out. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 10:13
Hi chaitan1233,

I've sent you a PM with some notes/suggestions about how to handle the next phase of your studies.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 00:37
Hey Chaitanya

1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
I haven't used an error log. I don't even know what it is.
an error log is pretty much what it sounds like - a running list of your mistakes. Make a list of mistake types detailing what tripped you up in this type of question, and what the practical tip that will help you solve a similar question next time will be, and write down an example to illustrate the use of that tip.


2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
No, I haven't. Should I order it? Does it add significant value to my preparation going forward?
The ESR is very general in nature, and thus it is not a great tool to learn from. Nonetheless, it can help you answer some basic questions such as:
In which topics my performance was far better than others, and which require an in-depth revision? This is mostly important if you only have very short time to prepare for your next test, and would like to focus on just a few specific topics.
Are there certain specific areas in which I’m wasting too much time, and if so - in which other areas should I use extra time? For example, if Reading Comprehension takes you too long, but a few extra minutes would give you a lot more additional correct answers on Critical Reasoning, your test strategy should be to skip some RC questions in order to gain more CR correct answers.
Which kind of skills should I improve? Note that the ESR gives you quite vague understanding of what these skills are, but an extremely low performance on grammar-oriented questions or in CR inferring-an-idea questions is a great indicator of where you should start your preparation.

So, it's up to you. if you do get an ESR, please attach it this chat, and I’d be happy to analyze it for you.


3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)
Sadly, I didn't. I paused multiple times during my CATs. However, I didn't split them into parts. I gave them at once when I sat for a particular CAT. Also, I took only the Quant and Verbal section for most of the CATs. Only in some I took the IR and I didn't take the AWA even once in any of the CATs.
This is no disaster, but going forward I would suggest doing this, and using these tests as something that helps your study process more.
After the test, conduct an exhaustive analysis.
This means spending at least 4-5 hours reviewing your test, probably the day after taking it.
Collect all the questions you got wrong and resolve them, making a separate list of reasons you got them wrong.
After going over your entire performance, make decisions on three separate levels: do I need to go over any of the test fundamentals? This may be the case if you missed rules, formulas or basic techniques on the mock exam.
Next, ask yourself: do I need to rethink my answer strategies? If you wasted time or got questions wrong when other answer tools were available, maybe it’s time to think of reviewing your answer strategies (what we call PAL - Precise, Alternative, or Logical).
Lastly: do you need to rethink your overarching chapter strategies? If you found yourself running out of time, you may have to reevaluate how many questions you’re going for in each section, how many you will skip, and which ones those will be. Finally, conclude your analysis with three goals for your next mock test, to make sure the improvement continues.


feel free to ask me any follow up questions here chat

chaitan1233 wrote:
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:
hey there good question. here are some thoughts, especially about the issue of verbal:
There can be many many reasons for a mid range Verbal, such as:
- inefficient methodologies (do you get confused by the different answer choices or take too much time?)
- lack of attention to detail (especially in SC but also in RC)
- having difficulty breaking down a CR question into its logical components
- and many more

Aside form this, there is the issue of strategy. When strategizing for the exam, more than basic skills are important for the Verbal section. It’s just as important to teach yourself the right way to approach each question. Many people, for example, make the mistake of reading all answer choices in all questions; with the clock running, you can’t afford to do this! Many Verbal questions are ones where all the relevant information is in the question itself, and you can use the PRECISE approach to answer the question directly, and avoid becoming confused by the answers. Other questions are those in which there is a general LOGICAL rule that can help answer the question quickly – reading all answers is a waste of time here as well. Only about a third of the questions are those in which it is necessary or preferable to go over all the answer choices (using the ALTERNATIVE approach). The trick is, of course, figuring out which question is which, and this requires concentrated study, checking not only whether you got the question right, but also whether you did so quickly and efficiently.


Before I offer you any more personal advice, I'd appreciate the answers to a few questions:
1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)



chaitan1233 wrote:
Hello everyone

My name is Chaitanya Goenka. I took the GMAT on 13th August, 2018 and was a little disappointed with my score (650). I am aiming to score 700+ to get into the MiM programme of a top European b-school.

I took classroom classes for GMAT starting 1st week of January and began full-fledged preparation from the month of June. After beginning my preparation, I realised I made a mistake taking classroom classes as they were no good in comparison to the online class offered by prep companies like e-GMAT and Veritas Prep. I know this because I attended a couple of free webinars from these companies and the way they taught the concepts was so good and GMAT-specific that I immediately realised I made a mistake. Double the agony, the offline class costed double than what the best online classes would have cost me. Back to the topic, I am planning to give GMAT again on the last week of September.

The table below shows the scores of all the mock tests I took during my preparation followed by my actual GMAT score.

---Date------------Exam-----------Score-------Quant-------Verbal------IR-------AWA
08.07.18-----GmatOfficial Prep----660----------45-----------36
23.07.18------Manhattan Prep-----650----------46-----------33
30.07.18--------Economist---------630----------49-----------29
04.08.18--------Veritas Prep-------680----------46-----------37
07.08.18--------Kaplan Prep-------690----------47-----------38
13.08.18-----------GMAT-----------650----------48-----------32---------6--------5.5


Looking at the mock scores as well as my GMAT score, my weak point seems to be the Verbal section. I am seeking advice on how I can improve on my GMAT score. I have completed the OG as well as the Verbal Guide. Should I start solving those again? Also what guide should I refer to? (especially for the verbal section)

I would be very grateful if anyone from the GMAT community could guide me towards my goal.

Thank you for your time.


Hi David

Thank you for your time.

Here's the answer to your following questions:

1. Have you maintained and used an error log?
I haven't used an error log. I don't even know what it is.

2. Have you ordered an ESR? If so, please attach it, I'll be happy to analyze it for you.
No, I haven't. Should I order it? Does it add significant value to my preparation going forward?

3. When you took your CATs, did you make sure to take them in the same time conditions as the real exam? (without pausing / splitting into parts)
Sadly, I didn't. I paused multiple times during my CATs. However, I didn't split them into parts. I gave them at once when I sat for a particular CAT. Also, I took only the Quant and Verbal section for most of the CATs. Only in some I took the IR and I didn't take the AWA even once in any of the CATs.

Thank you again for your time and patience for helping me out. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score?  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 17:59
Hi Chaitanya,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, there some positive takeaways from your exam:

1) 650 is in the range of your practice exam scores.

2) You did not follow a systematic preparation strategy but still scored 650 on the GMAT.

Clearly, with a sound and thorough study plan, you can improve your GMAT score. It's possible to score 650 without fully understanding some topics or refining certain skills. To score 700+, your preparation is going to have to be more complete. So, to lock in that type of score, you have to go through GMAT verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point.

For example, let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what, if anything, you would have needed to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses.

The process above can be perfected with a lot of practice. However, keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to read such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure. This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer.

As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

The third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct is what you have to do. The main thing that you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices in a Sentence Correction question, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. For instance, are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently that would have extended your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a
particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Although your quant is stronger, you can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: How can my improve my GMAT score? &nbs [#permalink] 21 Aug 2018, 17:59
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